NZ Performance Car - - Contents - Jaden Martin Email: jaden@per­for­mance­car.co.nz In­sta­gram: jaden_nzpc­magazine

We’re all young and dumb once, and I’m no saint. At one time or an­other, we’ve all en­gaged in some silly busi­ness on the roads or done some care­less stuff, but I don’t re­call ever go­ing out of my way to make the roads more dan­ger­ous than they al­ready are for gen­uine road users, or dis­re­spect­ing those there to en­force the laws we have bro­ken.

There’s a video do­ing the rounds at the mo­ment fol­low­ing a re­cent ‘meet’ in Christchurch that shows ‘car en­thu­si­asts’ swing­ing Os in clapped-out utes with dog­boxes on the back in the mid­dle of main streets and at­tack­ing re­spond­ing po­lice cars while laugh­ing and yelling brain-dead rub­bish. The irony is that it’s these same peo­ple who whinge that po­lice are pick­ing on them “for no rea­son”, yet still turn around and call the po­lice when their car gets stolen and de­mand that the govern­ment give them a free skid­pad as though it’s a birthright.

Let’s get a few things in check here: own­ing, driv­ing, and mod­i­fy­ing cars is a priv­i­lege. Hav­ing a li­cense is a priv­i­lege. Car shows and events are — you guessed it — a priv­i­lege. And, to main­tain those priv­i­leges, it’s pretty sim­ple: fol­low the damn rules! If you don’t and con­tinue build­ing up a very pub­lic, very neg­a­tive per­cep­tion of what ‘car en­thu­si­asts’ are, all these things are go­ing to dis­ap­pear in the blink of an eye. Why would lo­cal coun­cils and gov­ern­ing bod­ies take any­one se­ri­ously when the six o’clock news is packed to the brink with sto­ries about young hoons ter­ror­is­ing the lo­cal road­ways and caus­ing de­struc­tion to their cities. It’s not rocket sci­ence.

And there’s re­ally no ex­cuse for dis­re­spect­ing the po­lice sim­ply for do­ing their job and re­spond­ing to re­ports of your il­le­gal ac­tions. Scream­ing “F**k the po­lice”, dam­ag­ing po­lice ve­hi­cles, and act­ing like down­right an­i­mals, all while call­ing your­self a car en­thu­si­ast, is a dis­grace to the scene, which many peo­ple have worked hard to build up. You’re ru­in­ing it for ev­ery­one else — we all get tarred with the same brush. But sadly it’s not a new phe­nom­e­non, it seems to hap­pen all over the coun­try. The in­ci­dent where a truck driver was pulled from his cab and bashed in Auck­land, and the ‘T-straight’ meets in Hamil­ton. It’s like the dust has al­most set­tled from one piece of bad ex­po­sure for the com­mu­nity and a fresh, even worse, in­ci­dent has gone down and there’s video plas­tered all over the in­ter­net ready for news out­lets to lap up to de­mo­nize ‘boy rac­ers’ with — the worst part is that the ones en­gag­ing in these ac­tions are the ones film­ing and up­load­ing it!

I hope we never see the day when our laws crip­ple the pur­suit of mod­i­fy­ing cars like they do in Aus­tralia. We’re un­be­liev­ably lucky to have such a le­nient sys­tem that en­sures we all stay safe while al­low­ing us to build some wild shit. And if these kinds of in­ci­dents keep hap­pen­ing, cost­ing the po­lice un­nec­es­sary amounts of money, we’re go­ing to lose it all. Don’t for a sec­ond think that what we cur­rently have is a right, be­cause it ain’t; it’s a priv­i­lege in the purest sense and could eas­ily be taken away from ev­ery­one be­cause of the ac­tions of a few.

There’s a time and place for most things. Think about what you’re do­ing and where you’re do­ing it be­fore it’s all taken away from us.

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